UCLA Athletics

Report: Former UCLA assistant Korey McCray to join LSU coaching staff

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Korey McCray’s work over the years with the Atlanta Celtics proved to be a key reason why former UCLA head coach Ben Howland added him to his coaching staff a couple years ago.

Thanks to McCray’s connections the Bruins would land Jordan Adams and Tony Parker, one half of what was considered by many to be one of the best recruiting classes in the country entering the 2012-13 season.

But that recruiting success didn’t fully translate to the basketball court, ultimately leading to the firing of Howland and the hiring of Steve Alford. And with McCray available, LSU head coach Johnny Jones will reportedly add him to the LSU coaching staff as first reported by Neal Nieves of Bruin Sports Report.

McCray moves into the position vacated by Robert Kirby, who left LSU to join Josh Pastner’s staff at Memphis. According to a report by Jim Kleinpeter of the New Orleans Times-Picayune the open position was previously offered to Texas A&M assistat Glynn Cyprien, who turned it down.

McCray has strong connections in the states that LSU has to recruit in as a member of the SEC, and he has a strong relationship with one of the best power forwards in the 2014 class in Craig Victor.

Victor, who is a New Orleans native, is one of the most highly sought-after prospects in the class and LSU is a possibility. If the hiring of McCray bolsters the Tigers’ chances of landing Victor, the rebuilding project at LSU becomes even more manageable.

LSU already has two of the top big men in the 2013 class joining the program in Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey, and with Johnny O’Bryant III returning to school the Bayou Bengals can be an NCAA tournament team next season.

And further strengthening their recruiting connections will help LSU build on the momentum that can be gained with a successful 2013-14 campaign.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.

VIDEO: Arizona State’s Torian Graham dunks over teammate

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Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.

A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.